J Taran Diamond

J Taran Diamond is a metalsmith and craft educator based in Athens, Georgia. Diamond has earned their MFA in studio art at the University of Georgia, and holds a BFA in metalsmithing and jewelry from the University of North Texas. Though their work often addresses a variety of themes and concerns, Diamond’s overarching studio practice is characterized by an interest in the ways objects function in relation to the body and the broader cultures in which they exist. Diamond has completed residencies at the Arrowmont School of Art and Craft and the Baltimore Jewelry Center, and their work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at New York City Jewelry Week, Munich Jewelry Week, and the Czong Institute of Contemporary Art in Gimpo, South Korea. Outside of the studio, Diamond is an advocate for black people in academia, and works to help dismantle the systemic barriers that make higher education inaccessible to black people.

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Slippage III

Date of Creation: July 20, 2022

List of Materials: braiding hair, dyed silicone, anodized titanium, found anodized aluminum, stainless steel, thread

Dimensions: 8 x 41 x 1 centimeters

Photographer's Name: J Taran Diamond

Conceptual Statement: In this broader body of work, I reflect on the role of hair and protective styling as a means of understanding my queerness through the lens of my blackness. The braiding of afro-textured hair serves, both in this work and in the cultural practices that this work references, as a means of self-transformation that exists uniquely within blackness. As such, I seek to address the ways in which the visual cues often associated with queerness intersect with the visual aesthetics of blackness, where hair occupies a space somewhere between body and ornament. In the Slippage series, I investigate this space between body and ornament by taking the form of the slipped lost or box braid and returning it to the body in the form of jewelry.

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